The Show Goes On: A Theatre of Portraits by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters

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Until 23 February 2020
Watts Contemporary Gallery

The Show Must Go On: The Royal Society of Portrait Painters
11 January - 23 February 2020
Watts Contemporary Gallery
Free admission

Cabaret and showmen, actors, comedians, musicians, dancers and playwrights all appear in a series of beguiling paintings by the current membership of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. The exhibition includes portraits and studies of well-known faces including Sammy Davis Jnr, John Osborne, David Morrissey, and Tilda Swinton. Founded in 1891 by artists who The Magazine of Art called 'the front rank of outsiders', the RP boasts G F Watts as an enthusiastic early member and William Orpen as a past President (1923 - 31). Both of these men painted the faces of their day and, in this exhibition, the RP continue to highlight portraiture's enduring popularity and the continuance of this tradition in British Art.


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Portraiture Now: The Legacy of William Orpen's Painting in Portraiture Today
Wednesday 29 January
Doors open 6.45pm | 7pm
£15 | Friends £13.50
Book tickets

Sir William Orpen was President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters from 1924 - 1930. During this time, many other of the period's influential portrait painters also became members, including Sir Augustus John and Ambrose McEvoy. Drawing on the techniques and stylistic changes to portraiture in the early part of the 20th century, this panel discussion will explore the influence of Orpen and his contemporaries on portrait painting today. Chaired by Brice Chief Curator, Dr Cicely Robinson. Speakers will include members of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Anastasia Pollard RP and Peter Kuhfeld RP (winner of the Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture 2019), as well as Charlie Schaffer, winner of the BP Portrait Prize 2019. Click here to book.



Encouraging the appreciation, study and practice of the art of portraiture

Click here to visit the Royal Society of Portrait Painters' website.



Image: James Hague, David Morrissey, oil on board.

Watts Gallery Trust is a registered Charity. Charity No. 313612. All profits help us to provide excellent educational activities, stage critically acclaimed exhibitions, and maintain our collection, buildings and estate for future generations to enjoy.

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